Imagine a situation in a fictitious company. They know they will have to renew their IT infrastructure next year. What are the potential scenarios?
You may have recognized yourselves in one of those situations. Or maybe not. In any case, let us have a look at steps that can help you to minimize risks and their negative consequences, such as high costs, low efficiency or inappropriately selected IT resources.
A good starting point for renewal of your IT is to be sure about your current infrastructure. How many servers do you have? Are you really using them all effectively? Where do you operate your servers? Is there any better option of the operation? Can you restructure your infrastructure to make it more useful?
There are many questions to be asked. One group of questions should focus on what you need now and whether you are fully using what you already have. The other group of questions should concern your future and expected changes. It is essential to find the right balance between the two because otherwise you will end up with excessively high costs.
Technologies are one of the continuously and quickly changing areas. Some people would swear that physical servers are the best IT infrastructure you can have. Not necessarily. Apart from physical infrastructure, you may also consider virtualization of your servers or cloud services which range from private solutions using your assets, via hybrid solutions to public clouds and multi cloud tools.
As you can see, for IT renewal there is a wide range of solutions and their combinations. But how can you pick up the right solution for you? You can have your IT analyzed by an infrastructure expert who will help you with your choice.
You will be the person to make the decision but you will have all inputs available for your informed choice.
If you have your own servers there are numerous questions you will need to worry about. Questions about security, operation, efficiency, administration, maintenance and costs.
An important factor is the information about your provider. This concerns mainly the location of your servers or cloud services. You should know how and where your data are stored. How secure is the data center? In which data center your data actually are? Are your data stored in a cloud moving and are they distributed among individual data centers depending on the provider’s need to spread the load? All this could be summarized into a single question – is your provider able to tell you at any time where your data actually are right now?
But this is not enough. You should be clear about who is the point of contact to deal with in case of any issue. Is 24/7 support available in the required language? Are the incidents escalated to engineers who speak the appropriate language?
All this means that you are facing the choice between entrusting your IT to a local or to a global provider. Obviously, there are renowned brand names like Google, Microsoft and Amazon. But you should still think about a local provider who may be a better partner and be more responsive to your specific needs.
There is one more aspect which should attract your attention. There are operators and there are resellers. Some companies offer their own solutions, others represent supranational providers. Therefore, to avoid problems or disappointment, you should know from the very beginning who is responsible for what .
Regardless of how old infrastructure you are going to replace, you should keep in mind that technological developments in recent years have made it possible to get rid of certain items on the IT infrastructure shopping list, such as the investment in the equipment. The cloud means a great opportunity to reduce your costs and to make your work more efficient. However, this applies only in case you make the right choice.
Also your payment model should be selected carefully. Depending on how your company operates you can choose between a flat fee and Pay-as-You-Go, while the latter method is recommended in case you expect dynamic changes in your IT resources. Do not get seduced by an attractive price which might be conditional on several years of prepaid services.
To keep your IT costs under control be careful about fees for various “other“ services and non-transparent invoices.
At first sight the task does not look so time consuming as it actually is. Selection of your new IT infrastructure shall not be the last minute decision. Dedicate a few weeks or months to prepare the replacement because it will affect functioning of your company for next several years. If everything goes fine your entire IT costs will be truly optimized and the benefits will also include more efficient work of your IT people.